Experiments with Truth: Analysis

What if black people inverted South Africa’s township tours?

This video piece below is just brilliant. Here’s the set-up: What if two black Capetonians (both photographers) went to Camps Bay doing “an alternative township tour” to invert the “township tour”? The video is by LiveSA, a Cape Town based web and print initiative staffed by young black people: “Recently LiveSA made a news insert for eNCA about township tours in South Africa – do they promote tired stereotypes? Are they ‘poverty porn’ for tourists? Can young people re-invent the township tour?”

For those not familiar with “township tours,” read Busisiwe Deyi’s post from last year. In short, township tours are instances “where tourists are taken in buses through townships to experience ‘authentic’ South Africa.”  (BTW, Deyi’s post also takes on a supposedly progressive variant of township tours, “social justice tours.”) As for Camps Bay, it’s a largely white neighborhood of the super rich on Cape Town’s Atlantic Seaboard, which is as much a legacy of Apartheid. There’s little else to add other than to say watch the video and see how all the whites featured do exactly what you thought they would do.  From the white man who announces that his dogs are barking because ‘they [the dogs] don’t recognize strangers.‘ Then there’s the people at a restaurant who are annoyed at this intrusion on their privacy and “Desmond,” “their black” (because that’s what he is), to deal with “these people.”

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